COVID Killed Theaters’ 90-Day Exclusivity on New Movies – What Comes Next?

How COVID Changed Hollywood Special Report: ”Studios still aren’t entirely sure how fast theaters will return to normal business this year,“ one analyst says

The COVID-19 pandemic has put movie theaters in an existential battle unlike anything they have ever seen, permanently changing how films are released and how soon people can watch them at home. While theater owners are confident that the big-screen experience will draw millions back as theaters reopen in the coming months, the industry must adjust after studios killed the 90-day period of exclusivity that theaters had fought so long to preserve.

That 90-day theatrical window has been supplanted by a more complicated formula that will depend on the studio and the type of film, analysts say. In recent months, Warner Bros. has moved its entire 2021 slate to a day-and-date release format in theaters and HBO Max simultaneously, while Paramount announced less drastic plans to release upcoming blockbusters like “A Quiet Place — Part II” on its new Paramount+ service 45 days after theatrical release.

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Jeremy Fuster

Box Office Reporter • • Twitter: @jeremyfuster